Thursday, December 16, 2010

Disney Trip!

Oh yeah. Ohhhhh yeah.  We had a fabulous trip to all the Disney World parks! 4 parks. 6 days. FUN.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ShutterFly Rocks!

Try it! It's free to just insert your photos and create a project. I guarantee that you will want to order when you see how gorgeous your project can be!

They have high quality cards, books, calendars etc. I made a photobook awhile back of my trip to France. It turned out beautifully, so I ordered a second one.  I love how I can design a photo card and see how it will look before printing. Plus, they have lots & lots of designs, colors, fonts etc.

You can even upload a digital scrapook layout if you roll that way. Make your own scrapbook that is bound and beautiful.

Go check it out!  And if you're lucky, you might just receive one of my own Christmas cards if you are on my list! If you don't get one...well....I guess I just don't like you that much.  KIDDING!!

With Love Chartreuse Christmas Card
Shop Shutterfly.com for elegant Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Another Opportunity To Help!

My friend Forrest has made it into the top 100 for his Pepsi Refresh project!  He now has another chance to make his project come to life! The top *10* ideas will win $25,000!

Please think about voting for his Liberty Swing project.  He wishes to buy and install this unique swing for people with disabilities in the West Michigan area. This swing would allow people with disabilities to join in the same fun that other children do at the park.  A swing that holds a wheelchair! What a fantastic concept!

And a *bonus* for you......
Vote for this project and win goodies from my friend Megan at Shabby Blogs!

You know her and love her blog backgrounds, so go vote! Then post on her blog that you have voted and you just may win some super shabby goodies to decorate your blog! Tweet or Facebook about it for more chances! Put the widget on your blog and get yet another chance!  Do it!  You know you want free stuff!  And along with winning free stuff, you are helping others to better their lives. Thank you!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

You can vote once a day....

 This simple act of kindness could bring joy to so many young people with disabilities!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Something To Think About Saturday

 I admit that I'm preoccupied with losing people since so many in my life have left this world lately. It scares me to think that someone I love and care about could be gone in a blink.  I never want my children to think that I haven't loved them. From the moment I knew they existed, I loved them with every fiber of my being.

 I promise to love each and every person that is in my personal world for as long as I exist and beyond.

Pinky promise. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Le Mans

I promised that I would blog about my trip to France, so here goes!

I will have to do it in more than one post because truthfully, we took over 1,300 photos on this trip.  No, I won't bore you by posting all of them! ;)

My stomach was in knots before this trip because I would be 4,000 miles away from my children and I was soooo worried about Ava. I wouldn't be close enough to just come home if she needed me. It was killing me inside knowing I couldn't calm her or comfort her when she needed me.  But...everything went fine! Sure, there were times when she was a bit sad and the older girls had a hard time getting her to calm down and go to sleep at night. But all in all, she was fine.

And I can't let the post go by without *THANKING* my family and friends for taking over for me.  I appreciate their willingness to help and the love they showed my children in our absence.  My mind was actually more at ease knowing my children we being cared for to the full extent. You know who you are.....THANK YOU!

Ok, our trip to Le Mans was beautiful! I actually enjoyed being in this small town MORE than I enjoyed Paris. Le Mans is full of history and rich architecture. So beautiful. It made the nauseating plane trip well worth it (That's right, I felt sick during the whole 8 hour flight).

We were picked up at the airport in Paris by a nice man from the company Rick was doing a presentation for. Jean Luc was funny, helpful and a good driver ;)  And noooo...we didn't drink the wine pictured. Wine is served with pretty much every meal in France though.  A glass of wine is cheaper than a glass of soda.  No one was offended that we didn't drink alcohol. They just expected that we would drink the soda instead and were always prepared for us at meal time. How gracious of them!

The first night we were on our own for dinner. Instead of taking a taxi to a restaurant we decided to eat at the hotel.

There is no Diet Coke over there. It's Coca Cola Light.  I wish it were caffeine free, but it was not. They don't drink soda out of the bottle either. Glasses are always served. Even at the mall food court, we were given plastic cups to drink our soda.

Jillian told her high school french teacher that she would try pate'. It was poultry pate', but the menu didn't say which kind. Duck? Goose? Who knows. Needless to say, she didn't like it. We all tasted it and no one really liked it.  We did, however, have some the next night at a different restaurant and it tasted much better. Speaking of Jillian, having her along was a big bonus! She can understand french better than any of us, so she was able to decipher the menu's and also speak to people on our behalf. She isn't fluent, but it was a much easier trip having her along! Thanks Jillian!

Rick had duck filet and it was tender and tasty. He did complain that there wasn't enough food to fill him up though. He complained about this during the whole trip! No wonder french people are so skinny. There are no super-size meals over there!

I had filet de boeuf saisi au sautior with creme au bleu.  Basically, it's a beef filet with bleu cheese dressing.   The steak was chewy, but the rest was good. (blurry...sorry about the photo)

A close up of my bleu cheese dressing. There was some dark chocolate served with it under the little ceramic cup. Mixed together, it as pretty awesome!

This bread was delicious!

On the first full day in Le Mans, Rick left to do business, so Jillian and I here on our own. We had a taxi drop us off at the Saint Julien's Cathedral.  It was been built in sections starting in about the 1100's. It has such beauty. It is in the old town part of the village. 

Here are some of my favorite photos inside the cathedral.

This is the Menhir right outside the cathedral. Some called it the "bellybutton" of the city.  It's 5000-7000 years old!  Some say it is a rock of fertility.  Needless to say, I stayed far far away from it.

In the same square as the cathedral was a cute recycle shop with beautiful European clothing, handbags and goods that are made from old leathers etc.

Here is Jillian enjoying the cute shop. You can see the cathedral steps in the background.

I bought this cute little pouch made from an old belt and some soft leather. I couldn't speak french, so I didn't ask the lady what the leather was from.
Isn't it sweet? I love it. And only $7 euros.

The lady was nice and was sweet enough to even call us a taxi so we could head back to our hotel later. But before we went back, we walked around the cobblestone streets snapping shots. Between all the museums and stores were homes. I bet it would be super expensive to live in one.

Overlooking a river, you can barely see a wall. The Roman's built this wall by re purposing stone from Roman baths.  Lots of history in this town!  We didn't venture down to the water because we were a bit worried 
about getting lost since it was our first day.
Also in the above photo are stone arches with beautiful flowers and grassy areas in them on both sides of the road.

Here is a closer look at a couple of the arches. At night they are lit up and so gorgeous. I'm sure there is some significance to them, but I'm not sure what the story is behind them.

Flowers growing right out of the stone wall. I didn't see any planter.  How cute!
Cutest flower shop EVER!

We found a museum garden. Too bad it's so early in spring that not much was going on. I bet it's fabulous in the late spring/summer. I'm not sure if we were supposed to be in here or not, but we did it anyway.

Later that night, we were picked up at our hotel and taken to a business dinner at this place. Earlier in the day, Jillian and I walked by it and I mentioned that it looked expensive and I wouldn't be taking her there for lunch!

We ate a business dinner with people from *6* different countries. We all spoke at least some English, so I was in awe to be smack in the middle of all kinds of interesting conversations!  There were people there from Spain, Russia, Bulgaria, Denmark and of course France and the USA.  Earlier in the day, Rick did presentations for other countries that mostly spoke french. There were even more than 6 countries represented!  Awesome. All the people were there for the lawn care industry.

I really wanted to take photos during this dinner, but it didn't seem to be the right thing to do. We ate raw salmon, prawns, steak etc. We were treated like royalty throughout this whole trip by the company that invited Rick.

Well, that's it for the first 2 days in Le Mans! I'll post again, because there is SO much more including our visit to Paris and the Louvre!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I never thought that I'd go here!  I promise to blog about it. Pinky promise.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Inspiration From....You?

Before I get into the real reason I'm posting today, I thought I'd show one of my very favorite things in my house.  It possibly IS my favorite piece.

Years ago my sister in-law and I ventured into an antique shop south of town.  It was huge.  I like antiques, although my house isn't full of them by any means.  But this beauty caught my eye. An old narrow window shutter.

Here is a close up look.

I wasn't sure what I would do with it, but I liked it enough to shell out a whole $4 for it.  Actually, there were *2* of them. What was I thinking by not getting that 2nd one?!  I am totally kicking myself for not having a matching set.

Just look at the beautiful old metal!

I didn't even care that part of it was painted and the other not.  Still adorable to me.

Anyway, I thought I could use it to store mail or something in the slots, but then thought better. 

<<<< After receiving inspiration by looking at this in the Lillian Vernon catalog, I decided to put my own spin on the idea.
I had the smaller frames leftover from an ugly wire wall hanging thingie, so I thought I'd put them to good use. They already had the eyehooks on them to boot. So all I had to do was buy some ribbon to hang the frames from the shutter. Works for me! 
I don't know about you, but I'm a sentimental person. So I thought that placing photos of my grandparents homes in the frames would be just the thing to make me smile whenever I looked at them. I had visited my grandparents on both sides of my family up in Michigan's Upper Penninsula many many years. These old homes are important to me in my memories.
  The photos weren't of when my grandparents actually lived there because they have been gone for many years, but the houses were still special to me, so I sneakily  snapped photos when we visited the area one summer.  I even have a photo of my grandparents old cabin in Canada, plus a photo of some waterfalls that are nearby that cabin.
Anyway, the purpose of showing all this is because I like to decorate with things that have meaning. I like that I had some inspiration for this project. And I like that I found the adorable shutter really cheap!
So, now I have a new project. It's not an antique, but like the shutter, it was cheap ($6) at JoAnn Fabrics.  And I know I want to do something special with it, but I have no inspiration! It's been sitting here for a few months and I have only a vague idea of what I should do with it!  What is it you ask?  Well, it's this......

It's a big 'ol "W"!!

It's made of papier mache' and is begging me to do something with it.  I can hang it with a hook or it's also free-standing. So what do I do with it?!!

It's big- like 2 ft.x 2 ft. tall kind of big. 

My only thought is to print out photos of my family and make a collage on it. A sepia-toned collage. I'm all about senitment, so wouldn't photos of my family be just what it needs? Or not? 

HELP! I could really use some inspiration here.  Please! I want to hear your ideas. If I don't get them, I might possibly go mad. You don't want me to end up in the loony bin do you? ;)